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The holidays are the busiest shopping time of year. How do stores attract throngs of customers? By advertising good deals, offering must-have items and creating a smooth shopping experience. Just like a brick-and-mortar retailer, the charity auction is your organization's "one night only" storefront. To motivate bidders to stop, look, and buy, it's important to create engaging, exciting auction item displays.
The best silent auction items generate a flurry of back-and-forth bidding until one winner is crowned. Indeed, the competitive nature of bidding is what makes charity auctions such an entertaining fundraiser - and what drives bids higher and higher. However, what happens to 2nd and 3rd place bidders? When they don't win that coveted Date Night basket or flat-screen TV... those once-pledged dollars often end up walking right out the door at the end of the night.
With spring fundraising season upon us, many nonprofits are hustling to procure quality items for their charity auctions. How can you generate higher bids on every item and make the silent auction worthwhile? In popular ABC sitcom Last Man Standing, funny guy Tim Allen plays Mike Baxter, a marketing director for sporting goods retailer Outdoor Man. His wife, Vanessa, is a revered geologist doubling as leader of the PTA. See below as Vanessa and Mike attend a fundraiser for the school that includes a silent auction - and one hilarious pen-and-paper bidding war. Then see if you can spot the 4 best practices we found in the clip, plus get free downloads for your next auction (like customizable bid sheet templates).
Charity auctions are consistently among the most popular and lucrative events nonprofits can host. While the basic rules of fundraising auctions have remained the same over the years, the format of these events is rapidly evolving, thanks to the advancement of auction technology. On the one hand, auction technology has made planning and executing charity auctions much easier for nonprofits. On the other, because it’s so specialized, many organizations are at a loss as to what exactly auction software does and how they can use it in practice. We regularly receive questions from fundraisers about auction technology, so we wanted to clear up some of the uncertainty. We teamed up with our friends at BidPal to create an expert comprehensive guide to auction technology. Today we'll cover: Online Auctions & Event Sites Online Auction Catalogs Online Ticketing Mobile Bidding: More Profitable Silent Auctions Mobile Bidding: Smoother Live Cash Appeals Auction Scoreboards and Fundraising Thermometers Read on to learn the basic functionalities of auction software, plus practical ways these tools can raise more at your next auction. 1. Online Auctions & Event Sites Online auctions are, simply put, digital silent auctions. While most charity auctions are limited to a single night and venue, online charity auctions allow organizations to open up their auctions to more donors for longer periods of time. They're typically paired with silent and live auctions to make the most of your marketing efforts. Plus, since there are fewer costs with an online event, they can be done with minimal risk or investment.
When browsing your silent auction tables, the accompanying bid sheet can have a great deal of influence over a donor’s decision to place a bid. Are your sheets easy to use? Do they clearly list pertinent information and encourage quick, anonymous participation?